Unique School Safety Cooperative Working to Keep Yakima Kids Saf - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Unique School Safety Cooperative Working to Keep Yakima Kids Safe Gains National Attention

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UNION GAP, WA. -- Every parent hopes their children come home from school safe. Officials from all over the Yakima area have been a part of a special school safety council for years to make sure that happens. It's a group that's the first of it's kind and it's catching national attention. 

Practically every official relevant to schools is a part of the meetings that are casually held at Shari's Diner in Union Gap. But the topics of discussion at these school safety meetings are anything but casual.

Representatives from local school districts, law enforcement offices, fire departments, hospitals, libraries, even the new prosecutor and sheriff meet every other Friday. They discuss every possible scenario, from school shootings to natural disasters, and how they can keep kids from harm.

And the meetings are completely voluntary, no one gets paid to be here. The school safety cooperative started just weeks after the tragic Sandy Hook shooting two years ago in Connecticut. At first just five people started the safety council but now it's grown to 30-40 members.

Randy Town from ESD 105 says the goal of the council is to make sure your kids come home safe every day. 

"Every person that sits at this table in the safety advisory work group is highly concerned about our children," Randy Town, School Safety Coordinator, said. "They care about our children deeply and that's really the motivation. That's really the goal, is to protect our kids."

The idea is starting to catch on. Another school safety cooperative was started in the Bremerton area and another could be organized in Spokane soon.

Town says he's had people contact him from around the country interested in the idea. As far as he knows, Yakima is the first place to have a school safety cooperative in the country. 

There's also a bill in the state legislature that could lead to safety cooperatives across Washington.